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rehabbing brass clamps

Started by Carlo, September 02, 2022, 03:17:52 PM

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hi, all -

I have a bunch of 4" brass clamps from Micromark which I use all the time. many of them have "frozen" due to a buildup of glues and oxidation, admittedly from a lack of regular maintenance and cleaning. I'm looking for a way to really clean them down to the bare brass. Is there a low toxicity chemical soak that would do this cleaning? Other ideas?

Also, does anyone know of similar-but-larger brass clamps I could buy; 6" or 8"?

Thanks, Carlo

Lawton Maner

Start with warm water and work your way up the ladder of solvents.  Depending on the types of adhesives you have used water based ones such as titebond will take about a day to come loose.  Scrub with a stiff used tooth brush and repeat.  Super glues will come off when soaked in acetone or MEK.  Wear chemical gloves and use plenty of ventilation.  As for getting to clean, bare brass use Brasso and lots of elbow grease.  In the future clean them after using and polish annually.

WP Rayner


As Lawton suggested, first remove all remnants of adhesive. Then try a chemical process as outlined in this thread about a brass cleaning solution. I use an ultrasonic cleaner, but that isn't necessary, just soaking the brass parts will work as well, just takes a little longer.

Stay low, keep quiet, keep it simple, don't expect too much, enjoy what you have.


This will, again, smell a bit...'interdisciplinary' (yes, chaotic) but it works for me.

Since old times painters (all of them house painters and artists) have been using what here in the Netherlands is called Green Soap:


'Groen Zeep' means simply 'Green Soap' and i am sure there is the same stuff everywhere, possibly with a different name.

It is an ancient receipt that, apart of being very safe for nature and body manage to make your several years in thick paint forgotten brushes of any size as good as new. No blah-blah, it simply works.

It is great for acrylics but also every type of other paint and is said nothing removes fats better and faster.

One day i decided to try it at cleaning my tools, which, with such a chaotic owner couldn't stay clean for more than the first day.
The result was the same: after one or two days every rest of whatever was easy to remove by just a few second under the stream of water from the faucet.

Of course, one must take care of not letting a set of quality pliers submerged in the soap bath for two months if is not mean to get it rusty.

I have been using it since the mid '80 and it simply never failed.
I also use it for washing my hands and doing the dishes.